Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Time for a bit of nostalgia

Lyssy May is officially on a break for a few weeks and after a hectic couple of months with my head down working it is time to look up at the blue sky and the pretty birds and to reflect on 2008. This lovely little phrase appears on a new t-shirt by Thea and Sami.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Can it really be December?

I am slowly coming out of denial that it is so close to Christmas. I know everybody says the same thing but I seriously cannot process that 2008 is just about over.
Given that Lyssy May is currently working out of home as the new studio is not yet up and running, I have moved my Christmas order deadline forward a couple of days to this Tuesday (16th) as my lounge room is chaos with fabric strewn everywhere and my domestic machine is working overtime (I seriously cannot wait to have my industrial one humming along again - I have become so spoilt with its speed!).
I don't want to disappoint anyone who is hoping for a lyssy may bag under the tree this year but any orders placed after this Tuesday I will do my best but cannot guarantee.
I would like to thank the many lovely customers who have been wonderfully patient as my turnarounds have been a little slower than usual in this transition phase. 2009 will see Lyssy May return to form with some fabulous new designs to boot!

Friday, December 5, 2008

If I were in Brissy this weekend...

... I'd be checking out the Young Designers Market at Southbank on Sunday! This time around they will be on the nearby lawns which I think will make a fabulous setting. Be sure not to miss the stands belonging to my buddies - Hot Toffee, Jaime Beattie and Thea and Sami. They will have brilliant handmade gift ideas for you this Christmas. Buy Australian Made and make a kangaroo smile!!

And as I am in Melbourne this weekend I hope to make it to the Malvern Magnolia Square market to take a little break from the sewing machine. Last week I made it to Magnolia Square in Brighton, followed by the Sisters Market in Brunswick and then on Sunday for good measure I went to the Melbourne Design Market at Federation Square. All of them with such amazing things to check out and all had very different vibes although I did note a some stallholders backing up from Saturday to be at Federation Sq on Sunday - hats off to your dedication as I know how tiring a one day market can be let along doing up to 4 days in a row!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sheep's Back Wool Gallery

In a previous lifetime I was a public servant in Canberra and whilst living there I often drove through Yass and its surrounds which always struck me as a pretty place and somewhere you'd like to sit by a fire in winter and knit away to your heart's content - maybe that was influenced by the beautiful sheep farms I would pass by in the area.

These memories were recently brought back when Kate from The Sheep's Back Wool Gallery in Yass contacted me about stocking Lyssy May designs and I am pleased to say that they are now in-store along side beautiful woolen and other natural fibre clothing and accessories as well as sheepskin products, baby and nursery goods and knitting yarns. The store also stocks individually made accessories and holds art exhibitions. If you are in the area it is well worth the visit! The Sheep's Back Wool Gallery, 67 Comur Street, Yass NSW. Phone 02 6226 3072

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Flight of Fancy

I immediately fell in love with this fabric and it was the perfect match for these red chopsticks that I have had for while but were never quite right for anything I was creating. Which makes me ponder that designing is sometimes like match making. A lonely little button can sit in a jar for years just waiting for that right project to come along then it can live happily ever after with its fabric soul mate - or is that just a flight of fancy?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Market 3031

Yesterday's weather could be described as 'interesting' to say the least but I braved a 9 degree temp and pouring rain to make my way to Market 3031 in Kensington and I am so pleased I did as I saw some great crafts and met some lovely and talented Melbourne designers including...

Lauren Williams Handmade Jewellery (love the necklace/brooches)

Metremade (Ikea furniture need not be boring!!)

Auntie Cookie (so great to finally see in person!)

Ink and Spindle (hoping that we will soon be 'neighbours'!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friends appearing at lyssymay.com

I have finally had time to sit and add some new things to the lyssy may shopping site and am excited to announce that you can now buy Shannon's Bushka Babi softies online as well as some of the fabulous texile accessories created by Silke from Kaffee Studio. These handmade products were such wonderful additions to my products in Morningside that I wanted to continue to support these talented designers and have their work available to Lyssy May customers. I hope to be adding more products and designers over time.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Red-dy Steady Go

Whilst my blogging has been quiet for a month, Lyssy May has been a hive of activity behind the scenes with a new look website and product range just around the corner. Since my last entry when I was leaving Morningside I have moved to Melbourne and whilst I haven't ventured far as at yet because I have been setting up a new home, I did take a wander through the Hawthorn townhall craft markets yesterday. It is always so heartening to see crafty people of all ages and styles gathered in the one spot and this monthly market has some real treasures. I spied a stall belonging to Chien and her mother, Tonki who is visiting from Malaysia. They were selling handmade baskets made from recycled magazines and I was so impressed with how sturdy and beautifully made their designs are. I snapped up the one above for a Christmas present. It is sitting in my lounge room at the moment along with my 1960's sewing box and Cath Kidston mushroom pincushion. A nice little red ensemble to brighten my day - I just have to be strong willed enough to actually hand it over at Christmas!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Farewell my Little Store

Over three and half years ago I moved into this little space to kick off one of my big dreams in life - to have my own craft store. It had been vacant for 6 months and in its previous life had been all sorts of stores including a cafe, sewing machine repair shop and even a shoe store. Nestled between an ink cartridge and a water filter shop perhaps wasn't where I had pictured my first shop to be, but in the end it didn't really matter because it was mine and somewhere to start.

This week I am moving out which is sad but is an end to a chapter that needed a full stop so that I can move on and let this friend of mine called Lyssy May spread her wings a little. I am so excited about moving to Melbourne but 676 Wynnum Rd will always be where I learnt my 'trade' and so many lessons about what it is to own a small business and be in retail. In this store there have been lots (and lots) of laughs, tears, moments of elation and frustration, but never moments of regret for the risk I took to follow a dream. If you have a burning passion to get out there and do something you've always wanted, all I can say is 'just do it'. I truly believe there is no reward without risk and the fear of not doing something is much greater than the fear of doing it.

On Friday I will be handing over the keys to someone whose dream has also been to have their own retail premises and I feel so privileged to be in a small way part of her journey. So the boxes are packed, the sewing machine is sitting in my garage waiting for a removals truck and the next chapter is about to start. Thanks to all my wonderful friends, customers and suppliers for being part of it so far. xx

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Brisbane Caberet Festival

One of my most vivacious of customers, Alida Rae, will be appearing in the Brisbane Caberet Festival in a production of 'Too Many Songs by Tom Lehrer' next Thurs night (2nd Oct) which is sure to be a great way to spend an evening. The festival runs for 10 days and has some fantastic shows lined up. Sounds like a perfect way to brighten up your week with a bit of glamour!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Matterz of the Heart

I am a serious addict when it comes to the Chocolate Nougat Brownie at Planet Matterz cafe. The fantastic thing about the brownies is that they are gluten free which means that I can share them with my friend Nicole (of Hot Toffee fame) when she has dropped in for the odd cuppa. I am a true glutton for this gluten-free snack and this morning I treated myself to (another) one for the week and was suprised by a lovely accompanying strawberry decoration - just perfect for balancing out that icing!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sign of the Times

This the last week of Lyssy May residing in Morningside! Its very hard to believe and I know it is going to be a sad week as it is already proving hard to say goodbye to the many wonderful 'regulars' who pop in to say hello and are just as passionate about handmade as I am. I will actually still be sewing from the shop for another week after I close on Saturday so the made to order service is definitely in full swing. Its not too late to stop by this week if you were hoping to have something ready for racing season etc.

The good news for locals is that the spirit of what I have tried to establish at my little location is going to be maintained with the new store that will be taking my place - more news to come on that soon!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bird at My Window Grows Up

Running a small business often involves a lot of hard work and sacrifice and can lead you to question why on earth you are doing it some days. Then out of the blue you will have a wonderful reminder of why you love to do what you do. This happened the other day when I received a lovely note and photo from Melissa (pictured above) who said she was smitten with her new Lyssy May bag. After spying the Bird at My Window Little Miss design she knew she would love it in a 'grown up' size so we worked together through the magic of email to make one of her very own along with a matching zip pouch. I love how Melissa has co-ordinated the bag with her cute red pinafore. Thanks for making my day!

Unfortunately I can't say the same for the person who decided to grab a 'five finger discount' for one of my other Little Miss designs in the shop in the last week. It is truly distressing when people steal things that have been created with so much time and love and I can only say that the bag was made filled with beautiful thoughts but walked out the door filled to the brim with bad karma.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A big week!

I have had an exciting but exhausting week in Melbourne and I can't wait to share all my plans with the friends of Lyssy May. The best news is that I have some studio space lined up so I will have a little corner of this fabulous city for Lyssy May to call its own. I have been wandering around and soaking up all the possibilities that stretch before me and I can't wait to start.

After pounding the pavement all day it is nice to have a comfy place to stay of a night and I can thoroughly recommend Carlton Terrace if you are visiting and would like somewhere that is handy to everything but is also peaceful and relaxing. It is located parallel to Lygon St which is bad for the wasteline but is also near the Carlton Gardens where I have been having some beautiful walks on my way to check out Fitzroy etc.

I am back in Brissy tomorrow and about to head into the last 2 weeks of trading from my Morningside store which is going to be extremely, extremly, extremely sad so I am pleased I've had a chance to scout out Melbourne to reinforce the decision before the emotional farewells begin!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

This little piggy went to...

This Sunday is the quarterly Young Designers Market at Southbank. It is one year since the concept was launched and I have loved being involved as a stallholder. Unfortunately I will miss this weekend as I am visiting Melbourne. Above is a pic my friend Nicole of Hot Toffee took of my stall in June (at the time I didn't know it would be my last one there!). I really encourage Brisbane designers to get involved with the markets and for locals to support them. There is sure to be some wonderful things to check out - why not catch a city cat and make a day of it?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Quest Business Achiever Awards

A while back I posted that Lyssy May had been nominated for a Quest Newspapers Business Achiever award and I forgot to follow up and let you know that I made it through to be a finalist - very exciting!

The awards dinner was held last night and whilst I didn't take out the top prize I was very humbled to see my little store up there on the big screen! Being nominated in a fashion category felt a bit strange as my store is such an eclectic mix of accessories and gifts - when I think fashion, I think 'Sass and Bide' etc! Lyssy May was nominated alongside local favourites like Mother and Child, Thousand Island Dressing, Moo and Bear, Shugah Boutique and the winners, Ashleigh De Ne (congratulations ladies!).

As you may have seen in the local mags and on my website, my little store is soon to close as a I am heading off to Melbourne! More news to come on this but I wanted to make special note in this posting to thank those that nominated me for the award as it is a nice high point to nearly 4 years in Morningside. Plus I wanted to thank the team at Quest who have over the time run some great articles on my business - in particular Jessica Lim and her shop girl column (pics from her article on my made to order service on the right) and also Sarah from Image Magazine who has been a great advocate for my store and has always had some great advertising deals for me - thank you!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wall to Wall Wallets

A few weeks back Shannon from My Girl found a gorgeous roll of retro wallpaper in an antique shop which she generously shared with me. When I saw the pattern my first thought was how it would look made up into wallets and the answer is gorgeous! As a result I have dug up a few other pieces that I had bought ages ago from Georgie Love and plan to make these as part of a soon to be released new collection of wallets thanks to Marianne from Applehead helping me out with her range of papers. I love how there's no limit to how paper can be transformed into accessories!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Screen Goddess

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours visiting Thea (of Thea and Sami) at her screen printing studio where she creates her wonderful textiles and designs. Thea is busily preparing her Autumn/Winter 09 collection to appear at Fashion Exposed in Melbourne next month where she as been selected to appear as a Debut designer. This is a fabulous achievement and recognition that Australian fashion is heading in an exciting direction where eco friendly designs are concerned.
Pictured is one of the spring/summer designs which I couldn't resist ordering and know will be a great dress for summer.
Thea has a great set up in Capalaba and it is possible to attend one of her workshops to learn how to screen print and she is also able to work with designers to create their own fabrics etc. I am excited to announce we will soon be collaborating on some new fabrics for the Lyssy May range so stay tuned!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Arking it Up

Even though water restrictions have been lifted here in Brisbane we are a long way from flooding rains but just in case the heavens open, check out these Noah inspired goodies...

Kid's drawstring bag

Retro smock by My Girl and Wellies

Handknit Birdy Mobiles

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Green Fever in Paddington

A while back I flagged that a great new mag was about to hit the Brisbane market and the time has arrived! Peppermint will be officially launched as part of the overall celebrations for the launch of Paddington's Green Precinct this Friday (22nd) between 6 and 9. Paddington has always been at the forefront of great retail in Brisbane and this new initiative is bound to be a winner for both consumers and the environment.
Kelley of Peppermint will soon be dropping off some copies for Lyssy May customers to enjoy for free so be sure to pop by for one - especially as you can win a Lyssy May design!

Whilst I am talking Paddington I also want to make mention of an exhibition called 'Gentle Persuasion' at the Perculator Gallery which features the work of the talented Silke Savran whose textile designs are a favourite at Lyssy May. The exhibition is being launched this Saturday night and runs until Sept 9.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Where's Lyssy?

Whilst I would like to say I haven't written in over a week because I was buried in fabrics and tied to my sewing machine I must confess I was sitting on a deck and taking in this view for a few days (that's the Whitsunday Islands you can see out on the horizon - apparently this is what winter looks like in North Queensland!). Good news is that I am now back in Brisbane and ready to pull together some new designs which will soon be launched to celebrate spring. It is going to be a busy few months ahead for Lyssy May and I have some big news to share in the next few days which is incredibly exciting!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Clever Blossom

I had a fun time in Melbourne - despite the chilly temps! Last week the local news here in Brisbane was talking up the 'arctic blasts' were were experiencing. All I can say is move a bit closer to the Antarctic and you will soon experience what that truly means (but I think that was more my Qld bones being a little sensitive as the locals weren't overally phased).

One of the highlights was visiting the beautiful Life In Style trade fair at Flemington. I have always wanted to visit one of these events and wasn't disappointed. It was great to see Erin from Blossom Creations exhibiting there (one of her napkins pictured above). We were both in the Springboard program together and I am so impressed with not only her commitment to her design work but also to creating sustainable products.

Other news from the fair is that owls, birds, deers and babushkas are dominating giftware and children's design. So expect to see them on the shelves for a while to come and I can't say I am disappointed as they are just so gorgeous.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back Next Week!

I am off to Melbourne for a few days to check out the gift fairs and to soak up the style and watch others drink coffee whilst I indulge in a hot chocolate or 2 to warm me up.

On Friday and Saturday my store will be in the capable hands of Shannon from My Girl. Above is a random pic taken in my store of one of Shannon's Fairy Wing singlets and some Little Miss bags of mine. Drop by and say hi to Shannon and let her show you her fabulous work - she will be even creating some designs in my little studio as well! (please note that we will be closing at the earlier time of 4 on Fri).

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Get Your Creativity Flowing

Friend to Lyssy May, Julia Herne, has just announced a series of fabulous workshops to be held at Wellington Point, Brisbane. From felt making to uncovering your passion in life, there is something for everyone! Check out Julia's blog for more details...


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Row Row Row Your Boat

Just arrived are super cute 'onesies'! Pictured is the choc brown and pink with 2 little bunnies rowing gently down the stream dressed up with a Toshi hat. There is also a mouse ran up the clock version in blue. Nursery rhymes never looked so funky!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fascinating Work

I have recently started to stock these gorgeous fascinators which have been created by Carly Schultz of Toowoomba. I met Carly through Sally as they both share a stall at the Queens Park Markets (you may remember my pic of them both suffering for their art a few weeks back in the bitter cold!). Carly was also kind enough to create a design for last week's party which my good pal Shelley intently bidded on and won (despite fierce competition!).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Truly Tickled Pink

One day at Lyssy May they came, they ate cupcakes, they laughed, they made new friends, they wore pink and they helped raise $1419.75 for the Kim Walters Choices Program!

Thank you so much to everyone who came along to Lyssy May's Think Pink Party. It was such a special day and as I surveyed the crowd in my small store (who weren't at all phased by standing shoulder to shoulder) I felt very humbled by the support that was given to the event. Another thank you to all the wonderful designers and businesses who devoted their time and products to make the day such a success.

As you can see its taken me a while to get back into blogland but I am now returning to normal programming after a big fortnight so I will be back here on a more regular basis.

Here are some pics of the day...
Pink refreshments!

Gorgeous girls in pink - Celina, Deb, Madeleine, Jodie & Shelley (front)

Relaxing alfresco style in Morningside! Chrys, Yvonne & Yeshim

A-Class Gals - Anna and Arabella.

Thea even screen printed pink cupcake tea towels for the occasion!

Shannon was a raffle-ticket-selling-machine! Here she is (above) with two of her cupcake fairy helpers - Ursula & Finlay....and with all 3 inspirations for her My Girl brand below with Ocearna standing next to her Mum and wearing a beautiful Candice Herne fascinator. Thanks Shannon for all your help on the day and leading up to it.

Talented and inspirational people abounded in the crowd - including Aprille, Julia and Rebecca!

Angie was an Angel helping me out and Sonia was a Stunner as our auctioneer!

And finally - here's me. So happy that everyone is enjoying themselves. Thanks again for coming along and helping us raise money for the Kim Walters Choices Program which does amazing work supporting women who have undergone a diagnosis of breast or gynaecological cancer.

Monday, July 14, 2008

2 pretty pink scarves

More pink goodies from generous crafty gals are arriving for this Sunday's party - including the fabric scarf (above) mixed by Sally of djbebe. A fellow Toowoomba-ite of Sal's is Judy Timmins, who knits beautiful scarf creations that have been available at Lyssy May for the past year or so and are hugely popular. Judy has delivered a fresh batch of designs, including a pink one (below) that will be auctioned on Sunday as well. The RSVP's are now officially closed but we can always squeeze in a few more so please let me know if you'd like to come along by Friday.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sweet as a Cherry Pie

I never tire of spotting a Lyssy May bag around town or having a customer drop by with one of my designs on their arm. Today I received a special visit from Mackenzie to show me how much she loves her new Cherry Baby bag her Mum surprised her with last weekend (she even loves the ribbon that the price tag was tied on with so it has remained an integral part of her overall style!). I was very impressed with the red coat this co-ordinated Little Miss was sporting - so gorgeous. These are the random events that happen in my day that give my little store its soul. Thanks Mackenzie!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Wendy Susan Hat

One day at Lyssy May some beautiful designer pieces started to arrive in honour of the upcoming Think Pink Party. The first such piece is by hat designer Candice Herne and will be auctioned on the day. The work and style woven into this stunning piece has to be seen in person to be appreciated! Candice has also created a beautiful box for the hat and has signed inside the lid where there is a record of her inspiration for the design (her 2 friends, Wendy and Susan who have both survived cancer) as well the occasion for which it was created... just too special for words.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

No Strawberries and Cream for Me

These sunny Brisbane winter days remind me of a London summer (seriously). My friend Rachel is over there and has just had a lovely day Wimbledon - it's enough to make me want to pack my bags and head over there. The next best thing however is enjoying the new range of designs from Moe Moe which have just landed at Lyssy May. My favourite is this lass with her little suitcase all ready to go. At least this sweet necklace and earring set are set to go fabulous places!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eco-Art Competition

At the recent Thea and Sami focus group I met the brains behind a soon-to-be-launched magazine called Peppermint. Kelley Sheenan is passionate about educating consumers on the impact that our thirst for clothing fashion has on the environment (pretty bad if you check out the statistics) but don't despair or think this means we should all be wearing hemp sacks!

Peppermint will be a magazine devoted to talking about fashion that is not only fabulous but also can be fair trade, organic, vintage, sustainable, locally produced, recycled, responsibly-made or environmentally friendly. Lyssy May's designs and store try to mix a little bit of everything from this list whenever we can so we are looking forward to stocking the magazine for our customers.

Kelley is also running a great visual art/design comp in response to a set theme where you can win great prizes as well as having your art reproduced in the magazine. Talented folks should visit the website to check out the details!